Posts Tagged: recording

PC Mag Editor not happy about Sling Encryption

From Stu, one of our best customers and sources of information:

Jim Louderback, the editor of PC Mag, made a mention that his favorite add-on no longer works. He was referring to your Slingbox recorder. This was done on his podcast – What’s New Now? (July 21)

Looks like Sling is going to be facing more competition – not just from Sony’s LocationFree, but also new companies called HAVA and AirEpoch. It’s going to be hard to maintain the encryption policy, especially if the competition is open to recording.

I predict that there will be a permanent recording solution for Slingbox devices by January 1, 2007. Or even earlier if they want to HAVA good Christmas season.

Another great reason to record Sling streams

Here’s an At-Large Recorder customer who used At-Large Recorder and Slingbox to record closed-circuit surveillance video:
“I love the software and it helped catch a break-in at my house. Turned it over to the authorities.”
– Art Gimpleton
This is one example of a very good use of recording technology via a vis Sling.

Slung Out To Dry

Most hardware companies are delighted when a third party develops a complementary product for their platform. Apple, Microsoft, and many other companies have an active ISV (Independent Software Developer) recruitment effort, as they realize the benefits of others working on their behalf (for free) to make their products better.

When we developed our SlingBox device recording product, we kind of expected the same red carpet treatment. The SlingBox device is a terrific piece of hardware that attaches to your TV, and lets you watch it remotely from anywhere with a high speed internet connection. Sony has a competing product called LocationFree, and if I were competing with Sony, I’d want to do everything possible to make my product stand out.

Sling’s reaction was not what we expected. First of all, they had an issue with the product name, as it used the letters “sling” in it. Kind of a trademark deal. Our conversation went something like this:

Us: “Can we license the “Sling” part, and pay you a royalty on each copy sold.”
Sling: “No.”
Us: OK, how about changing the name to “SBox Recorder.”
Sling: “too close.”
Us: “Hmmm… how about “S Recorder. ”
“Still too close.”
“OK, we’ll call it “Blake’s recorder” or something. ” (Blake is the CEO).
Long pause. “Well, I guess that would be OK.”
Sling: “Your trade-dress is too much like our product – you need to change it, too.” (Our UI was red and grey, in the shape of a Slingbox device.)
Us: “OK – we’ll change the shape to a parallelogram.”
Sling: “No – the angles would be similar.”
Us: “You’re kidding…. OK – we’ll make it a rounded rectangle then.”
Sling: “You’ll have to change the colors, too. Don’t use either red or grey.”
Us: “You’re messing with me now.”
Sling: “No – we need to strongly defend our trademark and trade dress.” (At this point, it was Sling’s IP lawyer in this exchange. She was very polite, and was just doing her job. It’s still pretty ludicrous.)
Us: “bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb”

Anyway, we went ahead and complied with their requests, and came out with At-Large Recorder. Definitely no trademark issues there. I thought we were in the clear and good to go. Today we learn Sling is encrypting their stream transmission, thereby rendering our product inoperable in its present form.

I actually talked with Blake – Sling’s CEO – when we first launched and he was very cordial, although slightly annoyed. Said something about “getting a phone call” about our product. And brought up the trademark issues. That was about it.

So – what’s the deal?

Theory #1: Sling is pushing into uncharted legal territory – removing the geographical limitations on TV viewing isn’t taken very well by Major League Baseball, to name one. Anything they can do to reduce their legal risks may be a part of the strategy.

Theory #2: Sling is going to produce their own recording add-on.

Theory #3: Don’t know. Leave a comment and tell me your theory. Sling representatives are particularly welcome to respond.

Update:
Sling responds, and we dig deeper.

Update #2:
Digg this story.

Press Release for At-Large Recorder

This press release hit the wires today, announcing At-Large Recorder:

SlingBox™ Recording Software Gets New Name, New Features

July 11, 2006 – San Anselmo, CA – Applian Technologies announced significant changes to At-Large Recorder, the first and only PC-based software that captures TV broadcasts directly from the Sling Media SlingBox™ device.
To avoid possible trademark confusion, Applian has changed the product name from Replay SlingCorder to At-Large Recorder. Although Applian’s recording product is fully compatible with SlingPlayer™, the name change was made to ensure customers recognized two distinct products and companies.

The release of At-Large Recorder also adds new features. Most notably, Applian’s popular streaming video and audio recording product, Replay A/V, is now able to capture SlingBox™ TV streams by using At-Large Recorder. Customers can now schedule multiple recordings on different channels, including daily and weekly repeating events. Replay A/V also records online video and audio clips, XM™ and Sirius™ radio, and thousands of radio shows, radio stations, TV stations and Podcasts accessed from the included Replay Media Guide.

“The new At-Large Recorder name makes it very clear that we are the online video recording experts, and not Sling Media,” said Bill Dettering, CEO of Applian Technologies. “Our customers have been delighted with the video quality and ease of use of At-Large Recorder with their SlingBox™ device. And with the Replay A/V and At-Large Recorder combination, our customers get the expanded scheduled recording features they’ve been asking for. This puts Replay A/V even further ahead of all other streaming video and audio capture products. ”

At-Large Recorder is available immediately for purchase from at-large-recorder.com for $29.95. Replay A/V, with At-Large Recorder included, is located at replay-av.com, for $49.95. Free demos of both products are available. At-Large Recorder requires a Windows based PC running SlingPlayer™. Replay A/V also requires a Windows based PC.

At-Large Recorder is the latest offering from Applian Technologies, the global leader in recording software for streaming media delivered over the internet. Other popular Applian products include Replay Radio, Replay A/V, Replay Music, the Replay Video Suite, Replay Screencast and Replay Converter. Learn more about Applian Technologies at Applian.com.

Please direct all press inquiries to Leslie Bee via [email protected]

Slingbox and SlingPlayer are trademarks of Sling Media Inc.

Replay A/V and Sirius now working together again

Well, I’ve calmed down a bit since my last rant about the online Sirius tuner, mostly because we’ve figured out a way to get Replay A/V and Sirius working together again. And even better, you can now record Howard Stern!

If you’re a Replay A/V or Replay Radio user, download and install the update. If you’re not yet a customer, and want to be able to record Sirius shows automatically on your PC, give Replay A/V a try.

Also – in my new bliss, I’ve come up with a reason for the Captcha (those squiggly letters you need to reenter) which DOES make business sense. Perhaps they did this to prevent automated robots from stealing subscribers logins and listening for free.